Leaving Bontebok National Park and all it’s beauty behind yesterday morning I rode into the town of Swellendam to find somewhere I could get wifi and upload the last blog.
I had been told that Wimpey had a place in the centre of a new shopping precinct so that was the target. Unfortunately the only place to leave the bike legally was well away from the place I wanted to sit so I aired my concerns to a passing SA ( Bobby) who simply took the bike and pushed it around the corner to right outside the door of the Wimpey…..no I mean right outside the door. No one could get in or out. I promptly thanked him and as soon as he had walked around the corner I moved it to one side.
3 large milk shakes later I was back on the road ( not recommended for breakfast) and heading East again on the N2 for a short while until I reached the turning for Barrydale and lots of road work warning signs for the next 35 km. Luckily for me some one had obviously over done the signage as the was just one place that had road works and that only meant a 3 min wait. This road take you up and over Tradouw Pass. Built by Thomas Bain ( well designed ) and using convict labour back in the 1870’s. It’s strange to think that whilst this pass and many like it were being built such events as the Zulu Wars were happening. ( I can hear many of you doing Michael Cain impressions ” Don’t shake that bloody spear at me!! “. )
Over the other side of the mountain pass lies the town of Barrydale famous for its brandy making. A distinct change in the landscape happens here and also in the temperature. I was now entering the Kein Karro or little desert. Even whilst keeping moving it was clear that the temp had risen considerably. As I grew hotter imagine my relief as in the distance I saw what you could be forgiven for thinking was a mirage…… I was saved, for in the next kilometre I could see……….”Ronnies Sex Shop“. Before you think the heat has turned me mad, Ronnies is a roadside pub which hs a great story to how it got its name. I am not gong to tell you go and ask him for yourselves!!
Onward along the long open tar roads which threw up even more heat passing through the town of Ladismith and up to Calitzdorp where I stopped and a great biker pub called NeverBetter. Owned by Wessel and his wife the bar is adorned with biker regalia from all eras. About an hour later I arrived in the old town of Oudtshoorn where I was to stay the night with great old friends who run Cul de Sac Guest House.
Oudtshoorn is probably most famous for its Ostrich farming industry which grew from the demand by the European fashion market for feathers to decorate clothing. The industry still thrives today with products such as leather feather and egg being used for many things. It suffered greatly last year when an outbreak of Avian flu almost decimated the entire stock of Ostrict. In the region of 45,000 birds needed to be destroyed. In the centre of the town is the C P Nel Museum which has a fantastic array of memorabilia which tells the history of Oudtshoorn and its residence. Well worth a visit.
KToday I am staying in Oudtshoorn again but tonight I am at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. This is located just outside the town and I have to say is jaya wonderful. A 5 acre lake which is home to Hippo it the main focal point from the viewing deck and the restaurant. The accommodation is made up of tents with airconditoning, separate bathrooms and outdoor showers which are very cool indeed. Whilst here you have the options to add to your stay game drives Elephant feeding experience or horseback riding.
More on this place in the next blog!!!
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The KLR is awesome btw…